Ayupmeducks

What's In Your Light Fittings?

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Basfordlad, yeah I thought they'd probably update the IEE regs to suit modern tech, most of the reasons for pull switches stemmed from the size of UK bathrooms, wasn't enough room to swing a cat...LOL

If you could reach a lightswitch while holding onto a tap, then a pullswitch was required, which meant almost all bathrooms.

I don't think any of the houses I lived in, in the UK had large bathrooms.

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As to bulb longevity, I am not sure about CFLs or LEDs, but the worst thing you can do to an incandescent bulb is to turn it on and the second worst thing you can do is turn it off! I suspect the same is true of CFLs - and I know it is true for internal combustion engines!

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We have a higher voltage over here though

A question for Ayupmeducks, I remember from many years ago hearing or reading that more people in the States get electrocuted than in this country.

LizzieM quite rightly pointed out that the US has lower voltage over there, but is the Ampage higher in the states ?

A saying I remember from my college days was "It's the Volts that shock & the Amps that kill" could make sense I suppose.

So an opinion from a qualified anglo us sparky would be appreciated.

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My bathroom light does not work with a pullswitch. The switch is on the wall. BUT! It is on the wall on the landing. The shower however has a pullswitch. I know about the lights in the bathroom now being zonal by law. Years ago I wired up new wall lights in my lounge using the power from the ceiling rose and installing a double switch. Very easy if you keep your wits about you. But a very big NO NO in todays world.

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The lowest recorded voltage death the old NCB logged, was 12 volts.

And for Lizzie, we have 240 volts supplied to most homes in the US, 120 is now the standard, as against the old 110 for all low power consumables, like fridges, freezers, TV's etc and 240 for electric stoves and water heaters, my well pump is on 240 volts.

There are so many variables to dying from electric shock, standing in water is a common way on construction sites, how the currnt travelled through the body, ie arm to arm, head to feet...Condition of the person, ie tired, weak from illness, then of course the voltage...Chances of surviving anything above 2000 volts is very slip, anything above 5000 volts a miracle, 11,000 volts forget it, one of the reasons we had strict operating procedures when doing work on high voltage equipment.

BUT, don't dismiss 120 or 240 volts, it can still kill under the right conditions.

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Can you have the wrong conditions though???

Most of the electric shock/electrocutions I've heard of were people doing stupid things, one accident to one of my electricians one night cost me three hours of my time writing an accident report for the Mines Inspector..He wanted a prosecution and the electrician involved to be sacked on the spot...The lad was lucky in many ways, he had burns that required him to attend hospital for treatment, the Inspector was talked out of the prosecution and the lad wasn't sacked. BUT, he was very lucky to be alive, the live circuit he should NOT have been working on, was over 1000 volts, and as luck had it, he didn't put his hand on the terminals, if he had, I'd have been writing a fatality accident report for the coroners court.

Someone asked about current as against voltage, here's an analogy, imagine voltage as being water pressure and current being gallons per minute of water. Now imagine water at 2000 pounds per square inch being delivered at ten gallons a minute...The pressure would cut you in half, whereas the flow, aka amps, would just wet you through.

The voltage breaks down the resistance and the current "cooks" your tissue.

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Which is also why a 240v system in a house is, IMHO, safer than the US 110/120v system. The current per watt of load is cut in half in a 240v system, thus reducing resistance heating in wires and connectors and reducing the risk of fire!

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It's a balanced system Eric, but there are some things that horrify me, like the feed from the supply to the meter in many cases has a smaller neutral, ironic, as a neutral in a balanced system can carry twice the load of the individual lines.

And the quick connect outlets and switches need banning, they have been the cause of more fires than any other cause in homes. One I replaced had gone into meltdown mode, how it never set the office on fire where it was located, mystifies me.

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All our light bulbs are those energy saving thingies except the kitchen which is a fluorescent strip light (my wife still wont take her clothes off in the kitchen ;):))

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LED bulbs are energy saving thingies....LOL

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Here's what Cree makes, they are one of the top LED bulb/light fittings manufacturer in the world.

http://www.cree.com/Lighting/Products

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All this reminds me of stuff I was told by a qualified electrician who was at the time a fellow bus driver in Glasgow. He related to me the system in a north Glasgow housing estate. All three bare wires were located in a metal conduit using a kind of concrete as insulation. Effective except every time any of the exposed conduit was banged, the concrete crumbled some more. Then there was the fellow who wire his flat from the fuse box of the chap in the flat down stairs. It was ages before he caught on.

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You may be referring to "Pyrotenax". The wires were encased in a fireproof mineral (forget the name". Where it connected we applied an end cap and slipped rubber insulation over the wires. Often used in fire alarm systems etc. as it could withstand a fire longer than regular plastic insulated wire.

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That's known as MICC and is still made and used world wide, stands for Mineral Insulated Copper Cable.

Used a lot in the UK in petrol stations with FLP, flameproof, ends and boxes.

It was also, not sure now, but was mandatory for use in fire alarm systems as it will stand intensive heat before melting.

I remember Pyrotenex advertising it, they had a length run out, terminate each end one with a 240 volt feed, other end with a light bulb, and they drove a road roller over it, although flat it held it's integrity.

I wished I'd a pound note for all the MICC terminations I made off!!

It's main failing was the insulating material absorbed moisture out of the air, so the ends had to be kept sealed at all times. Happy times in freezing temps with a blowlamp driving moisture out of the ends of that cable...

I still have all my terminating tools for both makes of MICC cable in one of my tool boxes.

BICC were the better terminations, Pyrotenex first developed MICC, and I hated their termination kits.

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The orange is a plastic coating to prevent corrosion, it was available way back for use for outdoor use and comes with the "boot" to cover the termination.

Oddly we never used it in mining surface work, the NCB stuck with armoured cables even where there was no danger of mechanical damage.

I think power stations used a lot of MICC cabling, it was rated to 660 volts and came in many core configurations so was ideal for lubricating pumps and water pump circuits.

I spent my first 18 months with an electrical contractor who did a lot of school contracts, all used MICC cables for both lighting and power outlets, I preferred it to conduit, a lot easier to work with.

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Wasn't used in underground situations in mining littlebro, all armoured cables due to the risk of mechanical damage.

Again not sure, but I'll bet a lot of MICC was used on oil rigs with FLP boxes and switches.

The only cables in mining that are not armoured, are trailing cables used on cutting machinery, drill rigs, shuttle cars and face equipment.

All mining supply cables I installed and maintained underground were double wire armoured cables, lighting via single wire armoured cables.

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Last time I worked assisting the wiring of a petrol station, all the wiring was MICC, pumps and main isolator as they have to be FLP, and because of fire risk, air compressor, lights and power all MICC..That was in the early 60's. GT Ranby's were hot on MICC cable.... We must have run miles of the stuff from when I started work to when I left for the NCB.

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We used to have "races" to see who could make the most terminations in a day, elecs and apprentices on sight all included, BUT, any that didn't megger right, didn't count..."you made it off, you fix the cockup" lol

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Mineral-insulated copper-clad cable is abbreviated to MICC or MI cable, and colloquially known as pyro because the original manufacturer and vendor for this product in the UK was a company called Pyrotenax.

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